The big boys are in town for a huge pick-up test.

4 x 4 Australia - - Front Page - TEST MATT RAUDONIKIS & MATT WOOD IM­AGES NATHAN DUFF

We lasso three mon­ster Amer­i­can pick-ups for an Aussie ini­ti­a­tion. It’s Ford’s F-250 Lariat v GMC’S Sierra De­nali 2500 v RAM’S Laramie 2500. Giddy-up!

THERE’S no deny­ing dou­ble-cab 4x4 utes have be­come the de­fault ve­hi­cle for fam­i­lies who live an ad­ven­tur­ous life­style or need a dual-pur­pose workcum-recre­ational truck. But pop­u­lar mod­els like the Hilux, Ranger and Tri­ton have their lim­i­ta­tions. If you have more than two teenage kids, the rear seat isn’t go­ing to fit them in com­fort, and the an­gle of the seat-back in some of those pop­u­lar utes is fairly up­right and un­com­fort­able. The Asian-branded utes aren’t great for tow­ing any­thing that weighs three tonnes or more, so if you have a large boat or horse float you’d need to go for a large wagon (like the LC 200 or Dis­cov­ery) or a com­mer­cial truck (like the LC79). Even then, the big Cruis­ers only have the ca­pac­ity you want if they are equipped with a GMV up­grade and/or a chas­sis stretch.

The only fac­tory al­ter­na­tives with the ca­pac­ity you need are full-sized Amer­i­can pick-up trucks. Made in the mil­lions by the big three US auto man­u­fac­tur­ers, these trucks out­haul any read­ily avail­able op­tion here in Aus­tralia – yet they aren’t made in right-hand drive, so car com­pa­nies here don’t sell them. Thank­fully we have a strong af­ter­mar­ket that recog­nises the need for such ve­hi­cles in this coun­try and who source, im­port and con­vert the trucks for Aussie buy­ers.

We’ve lined up a truck from each of the Big Three – from three dif­fer­ent im­porter/dis­trib­u­tors – to get a feel for how well they work on Aus­tralian roads. The Ford F-250 Lariat comes to us from Har­ri­son F-trucks; the GMC De­nali from Per­for­max; and the RAM Laramie 2500 from Amer­i­can Spe­cial Ve­hi­cles. All these sup­pli­ers have full-vol­ume Aus­tralian com­pli­ance to sell these trucks. We spent two days with them on the tracks and roads of ru­ral Vic­to­ria, and also lived with them for a week in town.

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